Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) can increase lean mass, reduce body fat, and based on new research from the University of British Columbia, even help asthmatics improve their tolerance for strenuous exercise.
I've been fan of CLA since the mid 1990s, when Lonnie Lowery and I played around with it as grad students at Kent State. Over the years, studies on CLA have been mixed (some have showed benefits, others have not). Collectively, however, I think it's pretty clear that CLA has a host of health benefits, but you need to take the right stuff, at the proper dose, and you need to take it regularly for more than a week or two.
Given that most of the beneficial effects on body composition came from studies using Tonalin® brand CLA, I consider it, and products standardized to the same trans10,cis12 to cis9,trans11 ratio, the "right stuff."
As far as dose goes, approximately 2-4 grams per day seems to be the sweet spot. In terms of time, give CLA a full 12 weeks before you draw any firm conclusions about whether or not it works for you.
Flameout® contains the "right stuff" type of CLA and in an amount that's intended to help hardcore athletes prevent deficiencies in this important fatty acid.
- MacRedmond R et al. Conjugated linoleic acid improves airway hyper-reactivity in overweight mild asthmatics. Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Jul;40(7):1071-8.